Why Patients Choose Psychotherapy or Sertraline: From a Clinical Trial of PTSD Treatment

Stephanie Keller, MA
Doctoral Candidate; Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, OH

First published in Psychiatry Weekly, October 21, 2013, 8(22).

Introduction

Why do some psychiatric patients prefer a particular treatment modality—or modalities—to another? This question is particularly conspicuous in the context of treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which several psychotherapy protocols show robust evidence of efficacy and exactly two medications—sertraline and paroxetine—have received FDA approval. Numerous lines of research have looked at whether patient preferences for PTSD treatment are shaped by the type of trauma experienced, ethnicity, sex, psychiatric comorbidity, previous PTSD treatment, and perceptions of how or why a treatment is believed to work.

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